Jimmy McRae spoke exclusively to us, and explained the problems which forced him to retire his MkI Escort from tonight’s action. But the good news is he plans to return to contest the remainder of the rally tomorrow:
“It’s been a disappointing end to the night, after it started so well,” Jimmy explained. “We were feeling really good through the first half of the opening stage at Calgary Bay, but suddenly the car started playing up and we thought it was electrical.
“Then on stage 2 at Loch Tuath we stopped twice for about 4-5 minutes. The car then fired up again and ran very well: in fact we were so quick we were catching the cars that had gone passed us when we’d been stopped. So we knew the car had the pace.
“By then we’d identified the fact the car had a fuel-starvation problem. We got through the stage, but then on the road section it stopped again, and we decided it was better to stop and look after the engine.
“The other thing was, we started having problems with our windscreen wipers: basically the 35-year-old wiper motor decided enough was enough, and packed in. Not exactly what you want in the terrible conditions we had, especially on the opening stage.
“Actually, if anyone has a wiper motor for a MkI Escort, then that would be really helpful. But the guys are working on the car and I’m confident we’ll be back out tomorrow.
“That’s the problem, of course, with old cars. There are new parts you can put on the car, but old things like the wiper motors are still original.
“As for the conditions tonight: they were treacherous. very, very wet through the second half of the opening stage.
“But we’re out of the action for tonight. The guys are on the case and working on the car, and we’re confident we can get back out again tomorrow. Looking forward to it!”